THE new Mini Hatch has been named Auto Express magazine's Car of the Year 2014 at its annual New Car Awards.
The car rose above the crowd and saw off some incredibly strong opposition to take the top prize.
Auto Express editor Steve Fowler said: "The Mini Hatch is the perfect Car of the Year for 2014 - it's a small car that's big on talent. We love the way it drives, the quality, the efficiency and the big car tech on board. It's also built brilliantly in Britain - a car the UK can be proud of."
Mini spokesman Chris Brownridge added: "The new Mini Hatch has received universal acclaim since we launched it earlier this year. A great deal of work has gone in to refining performance, handling, style and quality with this all-new model and this recognition from Auto Express is testament to that effort.
"This award is a real boost to all 6,000 Mini employees in the UK who have created a car which in just a few months has captured the imagination of customers and the motor industry alike."
Since its UK market launch in March this year, the new Mini Hatch has been a runaway success. As of July 2014, Mini UK has the strongest forward order bank for the Hatch since the brand was relaunched in 2001.
Built at Oxford, the new Mini Hatch has benefited from a PS750 million investment across three of BMW Group's UK manufacturing facilities. Substantial upgrades to the plants at Oxford and Swindon, where most of the Mini's body pressings and sub-assemblies are manufactured, reaffirm the UK's position as the global manufacturing home of Mini.
Starting at PS13,750, the new Mini Hatch is packed with new features and technology. The car is more spacious than before, finished to an even higher standard and provides the driver with a more dynamic and performance-oriented experience. New features include LED headlamps and Emergency Calling (E-Call) as well as a suite of advanced three and fourcylinder engines.
Just months after launching the new Mini Hatch, Mini has expanded its model range with the addition of an entirely new body variant - the Mini five-door Hatch.
It's the first time in the history of the brand that the Hatch has been of-ffered with two rear doors, and the new model promises to combine the hallmark driving fun, distinctive character and refinement of its 3-door sibling with enhanced practicality.
This brand new model features enhanced interior comfort and practicality thanks to the extended wheelbase. Rear passengers now have 72 millimetres more legroom compared to the three-door Hatch, while the increased space also provides room for a third seat in the back row. The two rear doors make access to the enhanced rear seating more comfortable.
The new model offers an additional 15 millimetres of headroom. Meanwhile, the car's interior width at elbow height also increases by 61 millimetres. The boot has a volume of 278 litres, up 67 litres or around 30 per cent compared to the three-door Hatch.
The new Mini five-door Hatch range starts at PS15,900. There is a model-formodel price increase of PS600 compared to its three-door sibling.